SF Made Peace With Bonds’ Legacy. Why Can’t The HOF Do The Same?

Some say the sport of baseball takes itself too seriously. Others say they cant take the sport or its Hall of Fame seriously until the greatest players of the PED era are voted in, until the greatest all-around hitter in the history of the game, Barry Bonds, is inducted into Cooperstown.

The Hall of Fame writers seem to be from a different planet than the rest of the baseball world. To them, Bonds is still an enemy of the sport, despite being welcomed back into the game years ago as a coach and the support and reverence MLBs all-time home run king has received, particularly from the younger generation.

The Shadow League on Twitter

Congratulations to @BarryBonds who has his number retired by the Giants #Bonds25 https://t.co/nHSCFZZ1TH

A guy who was once portrayed as the most hated person in sports thanks to a media narrative that basically blamed him for the PED epidemic of the 90s and 2000s, has actually enhanced his public image over the past half-decade and hes getting his just rewards from everyone except the HOF, where he still stands on the outside looking in.  

CastSports on Twitter

What do you think? #BarryBonds #SFGiants @SFGiants #HOF #Cooperstown

On Saturday, Barry Legend’s former team showed him just how much he means to the franchise and the fans. Eleven years after Bonds stopped playing, the San Francisco Giants retired his 25 uniform number. 

Only In Boston on Twitter

Tom Brady congratulated Barry Bonds on his number being retired by the Giants. https://t.co/MT7wcZSvi8

Its actually long overdue. In addition to breaking Hank Aarons long-standing career home run record, Bonds holds the single-season home run record, has the most career walks, the most intentional walks, and is the only player to ever hit 500 home runs and steal 500 bases. 

Baseball benefited tremendously from Bonds historic chase of Mark McGwires record 70 home runs in 2001. Enroute to his 73 homers and eventually 762 career bombs, Bonds captured the attention of the entire sports landscape. MLB regained a popularity that it hadnt experienced since the golden years of baseball that began shortly after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. 

The Shadow League on Twitter

11 years ago today, Barry Bonds made history and hit homerun number 756. https://t.co/ZhSxueBdFB

With Bonds’ heroic feats inciting excitement, interest and excessive media coverage, MLB had officially rebounded from a strike-shortened ’94 season, riding the backs of iconic players to a financial windfall and marketing upswing that sustains MLB to this day. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have not gotten their proper due for saving the sport in 1998. Instead, MLB chooses to keep them out of Cooperstown based on accusations of steroid use.

In 2003, Bonds testified to a federal grand jury that he used a cream given to him by his trainer, Greg Anderson, but said he did not know it contained anabolic steroids. A book, Game of Shadows, later alleged he knowingly used them. Bonds greatness, however, is undeniable regardless of his alleged PED indulgence late in his career. Also, MLB fed its greatest players to the government wolves and tarnished their reputations in the eyes of public opinion. Bonds is just now receiving the love that he always should have gotten. 

Sports Illustrated on Twitter

Barry Bonds hit a lot of home runs. Here are our 25 favorite: https://t.co/u146hfkbrh

His retirement ceremony was an example of how far Bonds reputation has come since he was portrayed by the media as baseballs No. 1 villain. The skill in which he played the game, the magnificence and discipline and domination he flexed as a hitter since his rookie season with the Pirates in 1986 is undeniable. Hes probably the greatest player since his Godfather Willie Mays flexed his HOF skills for the same team 60 years ago.  

Mike Anthony Motilal on Twitter

The great Willie Mays strongly believes that Barry Bonds should be inducted into baseball’s HOF “Vote him in”-Willie Mays- What are your thoughts on this. Should Bonds be inducted into baseball’s HOF, why or why not? #BarryBonds #HOF #WillieMays https://t.co/HSj4y2iQYO

At least now, the Hall of Fame cant walk around acting like Bonds doesnt exist, or as if they are doing baseball a favor by blackballing him from Cooperstown. Everyone except the BBWAA has accepted the fact that Bonds played in an era where stats were inflated due to widespread juicing and that its impossible to accurately ascertain which players juiced. Bonds has never failed a drug test and was exonerated of perjury by the federal courts. 

After years of being a baseball outcast of sorts, Bonds finally got his shine with his jersey retirement. A celebration of his illustrious career that baseball approved of but the HOF writers won’t get behind. 

Theres a disconnect in baseball and its not between the generations. Its between a declining group of folks who want to play GOD and masters of morality. They are the same higher-than-thou people who also keep Pete Rose, baseballs all-time hits king, out of the Hall of Fame for gambling back in the 80s.  

It doesnt do anything but make the sport of baseball look confused and hypocritical. It confuses the purpose of the Hall of Fame which is to celebrate the greatest players in history. Bonds is certainly one of them, if not the best and witnessing Bonds jersey retirement on Saturday, most baseball fans feel the same way. 

In a country where our President has lowered the standards of decency and promotes bigotry, divisiveness, attacking sports and its revered stars, keeping Barry Bonds out of Cooperstown should be the least of our worries. 

The Shadow League on Twitter

This is about right and wrong. This is about treating people with respect and decency.” https://t.co/ttjKfhfV4l

The entire league should actually retire his number. He held baseball down like steel, birthed a generation of sluggers and his incomparable impact on the game far exceeds his surly reputation and PED speculation. 

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